...And NASA Joins The Prize Parade

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NASA on Friday issued the first official details about its new Centennial Challenges program, a prize competition that NASA says "seeks novel solutions to NASA's mission challenges from nontraditional sources of innovation in academia, industry and the public." Listed among the missions the program hopes to advance is general aviation technology, along with a soft robotic lunar landing, a micro re-entry vehicle and a station-keeping solar sail. Two Requests for Information solicit input from potential support contractors, and one Announcement of Partnership Opportunity seeks organizations wishing to contribute cash or services to Centennial Challenges activities. "Centennial Challenges will use prizes to help make the nation's Vision for Space Exploration a reality," said Craig Steidle, NASA's associate administrator for exploration systems, in a news release. A Centennial Challenges Day will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, Monday, Nov. 15, in the NASA headquarters auditorium, 300 E Street SW, Washington, D.C., to describe the program and answer questions about it. "We hope to receive ideas from potential support contractors and identify prospective partners who will make this program as successful as possible," said Centennial Challenges manager Brant Sponberg.